By Stephanie Fassbender
University of Wisconsin La Crosse Community Health Education Intern
Langlade County Health Department
Have you noticed the number on the scale creeping up over the last few months? If so, you’re not alone. Between indulging in delicious holiday foods, the psychological effects of long Wisconsin winters, and for some, less opportunity for outdoor physical activity, it’s easy to gain a few unwanted pounds through the colder months. The dreaded “winter weight” gain is especially frustrating this time of year when warmer weather, shorts, and swimsuits are right around the corner.
The good news is that spring is finally here and with it has come all of those opportunities to get outside and get moving again! In a community like ours that has so many great opportunities and natural resources, it’s not only easy to get moving but fun too.
Get out, get moving, and enjoy all our community and Mother Nature offers.
Hike, Bike, Walk
We’re called the county of trails for a reason. Enjoy the fresh air as you hike, bike or walk the many miles of trails in our area. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a one thousand mile footpath through Wisconsin that follows what would have been the edge of the glaciers some twelve thousand years ago. Whether you walk a short portion of the trail or take a longer hike you’ll experience beautiful nature and see gorgeous landscapes carved by the glaciers. For more information on the trail and a list of the multiple access points in Langlade County, visit www.iceagetrail.org. Also take advantage of the Springbrook Walking Trail and enjoy an easy two mile walk over paved paths, a boardwalk and a wide variety of scenery. While the number of calories a person burns hiking, biking, or walking depends on many variables, on average, a 200-pound person hiking one hour will burn around 550 calories, leisurely biking will burn around 395 calories, and briskly walking will burn around 240 calories.
Kayak & Canoe
Rivers and lakes blanket our area, creating great opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. The Wolf River offers quiet calm water in some sections and complex rapids in others while the many lakes offer a nice relaxing paddle. People often overlook kayaking as a form of exercise but it’s actually a great way to burn calories while having fun. In fact, kayaking burns more calories per hour than cycling 5.5 mph, and the same as playing softball for one hour. On average, a 200-pound person burns about 454 calories per hour of kayaking.
Golf may not be a strenuous sport, but like all activities, it does burn calories. The amount of calories burned will depend on whether you walk the course or ride. If you weigh 200-pounds, playing golf while carrying your clubs uses about 510 calories per hour. Since playing nine holes of golf takes about two hours, a 200-pound golfer would burn about 1020 calories while playing the half round. Players of all ability levels will be treated to fair and challenging experiences at Bass Lake, Kretz’s Riverview, and Quig’s Maplewood Golf Courses while enjoying a scenic journey around a variety of holes. For a fun and different spin on golf, try disc golfing at Jake Lake Veteran’s Memorial Park or at Antigo’s nine hole course that starts at the Springbrook Trailhead. Both offer a beautiful and easy walk through a fun course.
Looking for a low-impact exercise that burns a relatively high number of calories in a short amount of time? Try swimming! The number of calories you burn depends on a few factors, but on average, a 200-pound person will burn about 552 calories during an hour-long moderate-intensity swimming workout. A workout could be in the form of a structured class or open swim session at the Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center; or a visit to Jack Lake’s pristine spring-fed waters and beautiful sand beach.
Whether you’re trying to shed those few extra pounds, looking for a fun way to stay active, or just want to enjoy the outdoors, we challenge you to get up, get out, and get moving! With warmer weather in the forecast, plenty of daylight, and so many great natural resources, there are plenty of ways for everyone to get up, out, and moving this spring and summer.